Sometimes readers, friends, and family share with me food-related news or comments they’ve heard or read since I’m an agricultural journalist. My response is almost always the same - “Nothing surprises me anymore” which is true.
This was until I recently received an e-mail from the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) which voiced deep concern over a foul-mouthed pro-organic, anti-conventional and GMO online video - http://thebutlerbros.com/work/mr-seed/. The video is tied to the Clif Bar Family Foundation and the Clif line of food energy bars.
I watched the video which not only surprised me but stunned as well, due to its potty mouth talk and sexual innuendos in an effort to promote organic foods while dissing pesticides and genetically-engineered foods.
In the USFRA e-mail, Chief Executive Officer Randy Krotz says, “The atrocity of the Seed Matters video created for the Clif Bar Family Foundation, and the messages within, has crossed the line.”
He adds, “No matter your approach to farming, or how you view farming practices, the outright demonization of conventional agriculture and family farms (in the video) is despicable.”
The main character in the video is “Mr. Seed,” a self-proclaimed organic seed. The video starts with a “Welcome to the Pharm” visit where conventional farming is condemned. Mr. Seed later goes to the gym where he proclaims that organic seeds are bred to produce stronger, tougher roots – without performance enhancing chemicals.
The scene changes to two animated characters in the gym locker room allegedly snorting up a product called ‘Poundup’ – likely an intended slam against Monsanto and the company’s Roundup herbicide.
The video has a self-proclaimed M rating – saying it’s “not suitable for children and maybe offensive to offend agrochemical execs.” It also offended me, a regular John Doe consumer.
Krotz says enough is enough with trashing conventional agriculture, science, agronomic research, and farmers who implement modern farming practices.
He adds, “This video (and several others) directly and falsely impact consumer opinions about how we grow and raise food, which in turn, directly impacts the present and the future for farmers and ranchers. It is unjust and raises unrealistic fears about the food we grow.”
As a result of the video and its negative messaging, I will never eat another Clif bar.